Spending time abroad in college is an opportunity many students are given but few take. As a transfer student in my sophomore year, I wasn’t sure if I would have the time or the credits to study abroad.
Despite my uncertainty, I applied for the SMC London Study Away program and a couple months later I found myself boarding a plane to Great Britain. While part of me tried to conquer my fear of flying, the rest my mind was filled with thoughts of what life across the pond would be like. I have to say that my original expectations could not begin to compare to the experiences I would actually have during my trip abroad.
At first I was unsure about how I would fare in a country that seemed so different from my own, but after a couple of days, my twelve fellow owls and I found ourselves easily immersed in British culture. We were often encouraged by our host organization to exercise our independence and explore London by ourselves.
There were many beautiful sites around the city to observe, like Parliament and the Tower Bridge along the river Thames. The Camden and Borough Markets were also great destinations to visit, mainly because of the vast amount of food vendors. At this point in the trip, I had adopted the carefree attitude that most English citizens seemed to enjoy, and the feeling of independence was like nothing I had ever felt.
We were also given opportunities to travel outside of London. The class visit to the Roman Baths and Stonehenge felt like a journey back in time, rain and overcast adding to the eerie experience. Some of the students, myself included, made our own trips outside of the country as well, to places such as France, Spain, or Wales. During my visit to Paris, I was still in disbelief that I was actually in one of the world’s most famous cities, until I saw the Eiffel Tower with my own eyes, and after that I couldn’t stop smiling.
Of all the highlights of my time abroad, the best times were always spent with the twelve Temple owls that accompanied me on this journey. Almost immediately our entire group became inseparable, as if we had known each other much longer than a week. The moments I shared with my classmates are the ones that truly made my time abroad amazing, no matter how many times we got lost on the tube. The memories we made are ones that could never be forgotten, especially our trip to the Disney Company Europe, where we were treated to a private 3-D screening of Inside Out.
I can honestly say that the summer I spent studying abroad in London was the most enjoyable experience of my life so far. My Owl pride has grown larger than I ever imagined it could, and you would be surprised to learn how recognized the Temple ‘T’ is around the world.
To learn more about Temple’s study abroad program, visit https://smc.temple.edu/studyaway.